Trump accuser E. Jean Carroll teases how she’ll spend $83.3M court win: ‘Not going to waste a cent’
E. Jean Carroll, a former columnist who alleges former President Trump raped her in a New York City department store dressing room in the 1990s, has teased how she plans to spend the $83.3 million judgment she won in her defamation case if and when she sees those funds.
“I’m not going to waste a cent of this,” Carroll told the New York Times from her lawyer’s office Saturday. “We’re going to do something good with it.”
“I’m going to be able to buy some premium dog food now,” she added, promising at least some luxury for her pets, a Great Pyrenees and a pit bull.
The interview was her first since a jury on Friday found that Trump had maliciously damaged Carroll’s reputation in 2019 after she went public with her accusations, and he insisted she was lying. Jurors awarded her $18 million to compensate for the personal harm she experienced, then added $65 million more to punish Trump – and maybe deter social media attacks.
A different jury concluded last May that Trump was responsible for sexually abusing Carroll in the Bergdorf Goodman store’s dressing room on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in 1996. Those jurors awarded Carroll $5 million. If both judgments stand, Trump would owe her a total of $88.3 million. Trump and his lawyers have promised to appeal.
As she and her lawyers prepare to fight the promised appeals and push for the full judgment to be awarded, Carroll said they are also making plans for what to do with the money.
“I can’t say what they are yet. We will all talk and come up with a great plan,” she told the Times.
“I can’t possibly guess what Donald Trump will ever do or not do,” Carroll said Saturday, asked what she thinks will come next. “Can’t make a guess.”
Carroll told the Times the feeling upon learning the amount of the sum “was so overpowering,” and that she “couldn’t feel the elation.”
“This morning, around 8 or 9, having my first cup of tea, is when I truly felt calm enough to feel what we had accomplished,” Caroll said. “I felt they were my brothers and sisters on that jury,” she added. “They were like me. They were New Yorkers.”
Carroll’s lead lawyer, Roberta A. Kaplan, claimed to the Times that Trump might think twice about attacking Carroll on Truth Social after Friday’s decision.
“He cares about money,” Kaplan said. “And this is a lot of money to Donald Trump. And I don’t think he wants another judgment at the same amount.”
“Absolutely ridiculous! I fully disagree with both verdicts, and will be appealing this whole Biden Directed Witch Hunt focused on me and the Republican Party,” Trump posted on Truth Social shortly after the verdict was read on Friday. “Our Legal System is out of control, and being used as a Political Weapon. They have taken away all First Amendment Rights.”
Carroll referenced the issue of abortion access after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, claiming her win against Trump was for all women.
“This win, more than any other thing, when we needed it the most — after we lost the rights over our own bodies in many states — we put out our flag in the ground on this one. Women won this one. I think it bodes well for the future,” she said.
Carroll sued Trump for defamation in 2019, saying his statements about her rape allegations were false and damaged her reputation. That claim wound up being bogged down for years over the legal question of whether, in denying the allegations, Trump had been fulfilling his duties as president. Trump claimed that the presidency shield him from liability.
In the meantime, New York changed its law to give sexual abuse survivors a fresh chance to sue civilly over attacks that happened in the distant past. Carroll was one of the first people to take advantage, filing a new legal claim against Trump alleging that he had raped her. She also sued over things he had said about her after leaving the White House.
Trump was not criminally charged with sexually assaulting Carroll. Under state law, too much time had passed since the alleged assault in 1996 for a criminal case to be considered against him.
Amid court proceedings and immediately following, supporters of the president and social media critics have sounded off about previous remarks Carroll has made that raised concerns about her recounting, including her 2019 interview on CNN, where she argued “most people” view rape as “sexy.”
Trump, along with his supporters, have argued his hands were tied amid the trial as the judge barred some evidence from being shown to the jury, including the Anderson Cooper interview.
Trump said in a Truth Social post Thursday that Carroll allegedly changed the timeline of her recounting of the incident due to previously claiming that she still had the Donna Karan dress she wore the day of the attack, though the dress had not yet been manufactured. The judge presiding over the case also barred Trump’s legal team from arguing he did not sexually assault Carroll, or “that she fabricated her account of the assault, or that she had any motive to do so.”
During last year’s trial, Trump’s legal team and critics drew parallels between Carroll’s allegations and an episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” which included a plot line where a character discussed role-playing a rape fantasy in Bergdorf Goodman. Carroll said during last year’s trial that she was “aware” of the 2012 episode, but had not seen it.
Fox News’ Emma Colton and The Associated Press contributed to this report.